Its origins can be traced back 36 million years ago in the Altai Mountains in the plateau of Central Asia. From there, the plant spread around the globe, north to China and Europe, where its use as a fibre prevailed (although there is evidence that it was also used as a medicine there). It migrated south to India, the Middle East and Africa, where its medicinal and psychoactive properties took hold. Over the centuries, people have selected and cultivated various strains of cannabis for different purposes. As a non-medical product, hemp was commonly used for fibre production. As the thirteen colonies of the US began to form, farmers were required to produce crops that would last at least 25% of the time. Farmers were required to produce crops containing at least 25% hemp. Sails and ropes were needed for sails and ropes were needed for merchant ships. The plant was the usual source for paper and paper and clothing; the U.S. Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper. Hemp was the backbone of America’s development and the draftsmen of the US Constitution. Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were hemp farmers. Although ethnobotanists and explorers who described their adventures occasionally mentioned cannabis occasionally mention it, Western physicians actually knew very little about it until the mid 19th century. The Irish physician William Brooke O’Shaughnessy, who is credited with reintroducing cannabis to the modern world, did not know much about it. Cannabis into the modern world, gave a ground-breaking lecture in 1839 to a group of students and scholars from the Medical and Physical Society of Calcutta. In addition to his pioneering work on cannabis therapy, O’Shaugnessy developed the modern treatment for cholera and made important contributions to a number of fields, such as underwater underwater engineering. The use of cannabis, both as an intoxicant and for medicinal purposes, became increasingly 1850 to 1920, the use of cannabis, as an intoxicant and for medicinal purposes, became increasingly normal in Europe and throughout the Americas. Tinctures of “marijuana” or “extract” were widely used products with a reputation for effective pain relief, which at the time were sold by major pharmaceutical companies in the United States and Europe. The spelling “marihuana” was originally an Anglicization of “marijuana” , one of the obscure Spanish slang words for the plant. The name was deliberately popularized during the anti-cannabis campaign in the media of the 1920s and spearheaded by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst , with the intention of clarifying the confirm the link between the plant and Mexicans. By stigmatizing marijuana and the ‘aliens’ who smoked it, Hearst succeeded in stirring up anti-Mexican sentiment during the economic crisis of the 1930s, when many white Americans found themselves competing with brown-skinned migrants for scarce jobs,’ wrote journalist and CBD activist Martin A. Lee (see book, Anslinger: The Arch-Nemesis of Cannabis) . Interestingly, the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration – US Drug Enforcement Agency) has insisted to this day on the archaic continue to use the archaic ‘marijuana’ in relation to cannabis products, perhaps reflecting the agency’s anachronistic attitude towards the substance. There is a clear link between cannabis prohibition and racism in both the United States as well as England and other European countries. Wish to know more on this topic? Read the interesting and instructive book CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medicinal Cannabis–Healing without the High by Leonard Leinow & Juliana Birnbaum.